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The Last Lecture

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  328,285 ratings  ·  18,365 reviews
A lot of professors give talks titled 'The Last Lecture'. Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give
Hardcover, First edition, 206 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by Hachette Books
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Mary Kaitlin Sims He passed away in 2008 at 47 years old. Couldn't agree more. What an inspirational read!…moreHe passed away in 2008 at 47 years old. Couldn't agree more. What an inspirational read!(less)
Niquole Abram His driving force was he wanted his children to know who their father was. He wanted to pass on all of the nuggets of wisdom he collected from his own…moreHis driving force was he wanted his children to know who their father was. He wanted to pass on all of the nuggets of wisdom he collected from his own father and his own experiences. Towards the end of the book he talks about how the fact his children will grow up with their father, he focuses on what they will lose instead of what he will lose. I think he bares his soul in this as a way of comforting his children when they are old enough to know what's really going on and to show them just how much he loved him. (less)

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Andrew (M)
Jul 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone, just don't read it too quickly
Recommended to Andrew (M) by: YouTube
I sat down to write my review of “The Last Lecture” on Friday July 25th. Before I started to write, I decided to check Randy Pausch's website for any updates on his condition. He had died that morning at the age of 47. The book, and the lecture itself, now take on new meaning.

For those who aren't aware, Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. The university has a tradition of inviting professors to give a lecture where they pretend that it is their last chanc
Jun 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: vacuous white upper middle class people
My review of this book will not be popular, but I must be honest. I'm halfway through this book, and although I appreciate a positive voice, it's really not that interesting or helpful. If I could sum up this book in three words, they would be "yay for me". The author tells us how great his childhood was, then that he accomplished all his childhood dreams, got the girl of his dreams...etc etc etc. It's really not a book how to better your own life, as much as it him telling us how great his life ...more
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
what wisdom would you impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance? if you were gone tomorrow, what would you want to be your legacy?

carnegie mellon university is known for its last lecture series, in which professors are invited to give a talk where they consider their demise and ruminate on what matters most to them, essentially answering those very questions. randy pausch was one of those professors and this book was his last lecture.

i have found it rather difficult to critique a d
William T.
Jan 18, 2009 rated it did not like it
No doubt Randy Pausch was a nice guy. But this book is smarmy, self-indulgent crap--which is ok given the circumstances under which he gave this lecture. But it is not worth reading.

This is typical 1980's individualistic, unreflective advise on how to succeed in life. Alas, Professor Pausch does not realize that he was born white, male, middle income, in exactly the time in the 20th century where he could avoid confronting WWI, WWII, the depression, Korea, Vietnam, urban riots of the 1960's, the
Books Ring Mah Bell
Jun 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of American Idol
Recommended to Books Ring Mah Bell by: The whole world
Shelves: poop, memo-auto-bio
While this man has a 5-star attitude, I can only give the book two.

yeah, everyone is raving about this guy...
Five star attitude... the author gets diagnosed with terminal cancer. He refers to this as "an engineering problem" (understated and true) has 3-6 months to live, tops. Has 3 small children (ages 6 and under)who will never know him. he was scheduled to give a "last lecture", ya know, how to live your life as if you were dying... (irony) and he writes it in such a way that it's a celebra
Lindsay Coppens
Jun 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
It's hard to criticize a dying man. I think this is a great book for his wife, family, children, and friends to read, and although it has some good life lessons that are not revolutionary but do need repeating from time to time, this book is not well written. At points while I was reading I found myself actually disliking Pausch and his way of presenting himself, but then I realized that this would perhaps make me a horrible person. Maybe I am. I very much prefer Tuesdays With Morrie for a simil ...more
Heidi The Reader
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs, non-fiction
The Last Lecture is Randy Pausch's last hurrah- a final note to the world and his family about how to live, love and let go. It is beautiful.

I think that we're all here for a reason and have stories to tell. How fortunate for us all that Randy had the time and ability to tell his particular story.

I recommend this book for fans of memoirs, computer engineering and heart-felt narratives. I listened to the audiobook and it was excellent.

Then, once I finished the book, I looked up Randy's actual las
Aug 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Beth by: Katie
I think this was one of those books where knowing the criticisms before starting it ultimately upped my enjoyment factor.

Randy Pausch, the author, was one of those people who became wildly popular in 2008 thanks to the internet. He was a popular professor at Carnegie Mellon and was invited to give a “last lecture”, a tradition of sorts where a professor is urged to give a specially prepared lecture as though it were the last s/he were to ever give. And so they are encouraged to break down all t
Ahmad Sharabiani
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture fleshes out Pausch's lecture and discusses everything he wanted his children to know after his pancreatic cancer had taken his life.

It includes stories of his childhood, lessons he wants his children to learn, and things he wants his children to know about him. He repeatedly stresses that one should have fun in everything one does, and that one should live life to its fullest because one never knows when it might be taken.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بی
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Last Lecture, literally, for a professor with a terminal illness. Taken from a speech that he wanted to impart to his students, family, friends, - really everyone as he came to grips with his condition.

This is about as emotionally charged and spiritually powerful as you may expect, the author is exploring territory that we all face, but he was at the edge of existence when he put this together. Randy Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had months to live, from this perspective he
Apr 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I was first "introduced" to Mr. Pausch while watching the Oprah show in the fall. My father in law was in the hospital at the time, fighting melanoma that had metastacized to his lungs. Simply stated, I stopped folding clothes and cried so hard during that show. Soon after, the emails began to circulate with links to the last lecture on utube and I watched every link I got and cried even more. I read all the internet articles and was touched every time. When I saw the book was coming out, I jump ...more
Jun 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cara by: Mom
THIS BOOK BLEW ME AWAY!!! Yeah I really won't be able to give a coherent review.

Suffice to say that this is human beings at their best. You might not agree with all of Randy's lessons, but he tells you from the get go that this is what he thinks and he did it all for his kids.

Towards the end I cried because there really isn't another word to describe the whole thing but genuine. The book was published when he was still alive, but I read it when he had already passed away so it was even more hear
K.D. Absolutely
I am writing this review with barely 4 hours to go before 2013. I picked this book up to inspire me to face another year. I learned about this book when I took our company-mandated safety leadership training last month. Our corporate safety manager talked highly of this as he related Randy Pausch's very personal experience with what one person's ultimate objective in life, i.e., what should really matter to each of us in the training room.

For those who are not familiar with this 2008 bestselling
May 21, 2008 rated it did not like it
I couldn't bring myself to finish this book. Perhaps the author's buildup to the ultimate last lecture raised my expectations too high, but I found myself working hard to try to maintain interest as I plowed through a series of anecdotes and trite observations. I suspect I would have enjoyed the book more if he had simply written about his work at the university, but I did not feel a connection to the author, despite his obvious courage in the face of a terminal illness.
I suppose a reader can't
Mar 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
I'm appending this with the review I wrote for my paper: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08097/...

I read this because I am doing continuing coverage on the author, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who is dying of pancreatic cancer and who gave a last lecture that has been viewed on the Web by more than 6 million folks.

For what it is -- essentially an expanded version of the lecture about his life story and his advice on how to live a fulfilling life which can all be read in a sitting -- it
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks Randy for all the beautiful words. This is indeed a good read, words written from the heart and from life experiences. I feel we can get more out of this book, if we watch the video of the speech first. These fundamentals of life will make our lives better, so let's stop being a critic...

"If you have a question, my folks would say, then find the answer."

"Never make a decision until you have to."

"Just because you're in the driver's seat, doesn't mean you have to run people over."

"Have some
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Letting go.

I am at the same place as Randy, wanted to read this book and learn. Didn't want to miss something. Glad my boys are all grown up and I'm 75. Love reading, but medications making me not to connect, read parts of the story again and again. But as to find some relief in these last days from his lecture didn't happen.
Leslie Jem
Apr 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: super meek high school graduate
It may be that I am particularly sensitive to certain topics, but I didn't enjoy this book. I realize that the author is trying to cram all that he has found to be important in life in 200 pages, which is automatically going to make it seem preachy. Maybe it's that I didn't like what he was preaching. He spent too much time encouraging people to scale brick walls on the paths to their dreams. Then he started describing other people as brick walls and he lost me. Sometimes no means no, and bounda ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I agree with many who say this is a meaningful and eye-opening novel, but I'm also tempted to say that many of the "tips" given by Pausch are things I've already heard of before. Still... This is a touching book about remembering what's important in life and to always chase your childhood dreams, no matter what. ...more
Reading_ Tamishly
I have picked up this book three times in the last 3 months and I just cannot get into it. I really wanted to love this memoir but I just couldn't connect with it.

It turned out to be something really like a repetitive self help book which again sounds a lot like some fiction written bad. And yes, it's a autobiographical non-fiction.
The worst I felt when reading the book was I just couldn't feel anything about the author or the memories he was talking about. It seemed so disconnected. I had to D
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: audio, auto-bio
“Are you a Tigger or an Eyore?”

― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
An extraordinary book. How can a man dying from pancreatic cancer be so upbeat and write such useful advice? Read on!!

Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA. His areas of expertise were computer science and virtual reality. He worked for Disney as an Imagineer. In that capacity he was responsible for designing and building Disney theme parks, resorts, cruise ships, and other entertainment venues at all levels of project development.

From Will Schwalbe's book, The End of
Sep 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book grew out of the desperation of a computer professor, when he discovered that he had terminal cancer, and he wanted absolutely to leave a manual of guidance for his little kids. It's this fact about this book that drew me, because, in terms of parental guidance, I haven't been one of the lucky ones.

I was surprised by the vividness and vivacity of the writing. The pages kept turning as if by themselves, and I was disappointed that the book ran out so soon.

Authentic and practical wisdoms
Feb 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
I will probably burn in hell--well, okay, suffer a few extra millenia in purgatory, maybe--for only giving this book two stars. It's one of the top gift books of 2008, if you didn't yet view "The Last Lecture" on YouTube you probably heard about it via Oprah or friends or co-workers: a talented computer science prof at Carnegie Mellon with three adorable little toddlers and a loving wife learns he has pancreatic cancer and about six months to live, so he gives a farewell lecture to his students, ...more
Jul 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Tifnie by: Juli Platzer
Shelves: non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had read a small excerpt from The Last Lecture online a few years ago and enjoying what I read, added the book to my TBR list. Today while I was browsing the bookstore, [because the 19 books at home waiting to be read aren’t enough - a “problem” I know many of you can relate to! ;)] it was on display on a table so I picked it up and started reading...

While the book is small, it’s filled with wise words. Despite receiving news of a terminal illness, Randy’s story is one of optimism more so than
Aug 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed watching his last lecture, which was extremely touching, but reading this book was even more touching. I actually teared up numerous times while reading it.

As far as I'm concerned, this guy is a hero. He was happy, and yet he achieved so much. He was diagnosed with cancer, and instead of just letting it put him down, it was a motive for him to leave this last lecture, a lasting legacy.

I do recommend that everyone read this book.
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Last Lecture is a brilliant memoir of a life experiences of a Computer Science Professor breathing the near to death moments. Randy Pausch, diagnosed with rarely dangerous pancreatic cancer in the early phase of life recounts the occurred before life events translating into pretty pieces of advices. He is asked to deliver the Last Lecture in the form of a speech to the students and faculty audience ready to hear what the successful person has to speak about.

The book divided into six section
Fotooh Jarkas
"so many will get the chance to say goodbye,BUT It's never too late to think of the value of your life " Randy was trying to tell us that , and he did it in a great way !

It was more than a lecture ! and it's not fair to write a review about this great work .. Actually it was an every day's lecture ..
I was completely in , I cried with him and laughed with him, I was amazed by his courage, faith and pride , I liked how he decided to help his wife in raising the kids after his death .
he was a gr
Aug 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
I arrived late to the parade -- sadly, the first I ever heard of Randy Pausch was when his obit ran on CNN.com late last month. The bulk of the story centered around the "last lecture" that made him famous well beyond the halls of the universities where he taught and in the scientific realm.

A few nights later, a guy who took the seat next to me on the train home was reading the book Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow put out based off his lecture. I gave it a few glances out of the corner of my eye and d
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I am flattered and embarassed by all the recent attention to my "Last Lecture." I am told that, including abridged versions, over six million people have viewed the lecture online. The lecture really was for my kids, but if others are finding value in it, that is wonderful. But rest assured; I'm hardly unique. Send your kids to Carnegie Mellon and the other professors here will teach them valuable ...more

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